90.2 F
Scottsdale, US
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Say hello to our 2019 Tri Scottsdale Ambassadors! The energy, passion and genuine love of triathlon is seen in each of these athletes. As a Tri Scottsdale Ambassador our athletes present a passion for racing, volunteering, and cheering for Tri Scottsdale teammates and all athletes in the community. They are responsible for representing the club in a positive and energetic way that encourages others to participate in the sport of triathlon and encourage others to join our awesome club.

Looking forward to a great 2019!!

Leblanc
  • 49 years old and resident of Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Married and mother of three: Madison (18), Matthew (17), and Mackenzie (16).
  • Graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from Arizona State University and a Masters’ degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California.
  • Currently practicing as a licensed Physical Therapist in Scottsdale, AZ with area of expertise in pediatric care focusing on neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.
  • Had successful career as a College swimmer at Arizona State University where I was Academic All American with National rankings in the 400 IM.
  • Started competing at age 40 in Olympic distance triathlons.
Athletic accomplishments:
  • Age Group World Champion in 2015 in the Sprint distance triathlon (Chicago, USA).
  • Age Group World Champion in 2017 in the Olympic distance triathlon (Rotterdam, Netherlands).
  • Age Group third place finisher in 2018 in the Olympic distance triathlon (Gold Coast, Australia).
  • Four-time Age Group USA National Champion for Olympic distance triathlon (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017)
  • Age Group USA National Champion for Sprint distance triathlon (2015).
  • Age Group second place finisher in 2013 at the USA National Champion for Olympic distance triathlon.
  • State Champion in Arizona in 2016 and 2017 in women’s road cycling 40K Time Trial Race.
Awards and Recognitions:
  • USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year for Masters’ Division in 2017.
  • USA Triathlon Honorable mention for Triathlete of the year in 2017.
  • USA Triathlon Honorable mention for Triathlete of the year for Masters’ Division in 2016.
  • USA Triathlon All American Honors in recipient in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
About me: In 2018, after an injury that lasted the competitive season, I achieved a third place at the ITU Age Group World Championships Olympic Distance (Gold Coast, Australia). As a whole, I enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle and revel in the daily challenge of training to be a competitive triathlete.
Folts

Adam - Also known as the "slow Folts", I've been a part of TriScottsdale longer than someone could use hashtags or blog about their triathlons on social media. In my day we had to wait sometimes a week for the results!!!! It's been fun watching the club change and grow though.
With a new baby and tired of all the drafting at WTC races, this year will be more about running and shorter triathlons (70.3 and below). This #dadbod isn't dead yet. Since I don't post on social media much I have agreed to help with the website.

JFolts

Jessica - Born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, now living the high life in Prescott, AZ at 5500ft. I started club swimming at age 6 and swam competitively through high school specializing in sprint freestyle and butterfly events. In 2012, my uncle asked me to do a 70.3 with him. Not having ran/biked much in my life, I decided to give it a shot and the rest is history! I met my husband Adam (the other slow Folts) through the sport of triathlon in 2013 and in 2015 he proposed at the Kona Ironman World Championship finish line. We welcomed our first child, Madeline, into the world in January of 2018. Between working full time as a Clinical Nutrition Manager at the Northern Arizona VA Hospital and being a mom, my training and racing schedule has certainly changed. Looking forward to a fun year of short-middle distance racing in 2019!

Ballard

Honored to be an ambassador for this group of rockstars! I became an avid cyclist/mountain-biker in the 80’s, added something resembling running in the 90’s, and did my first triathlons in 2005. I started doing group-rides and master swims with Tri Scottsdale back in 2006, and I’ve been training/racing with the club on and off for over a decade. TriScottsdale is THE world class local team that embraces athletes of all levels and abilities and supports them in their triathlon journeys. I attribute many of my good friendships and whatever successes I’ve had in the sport to the support of the club and its members. In terms of those successes, well, I’m still racing so that’s the main thing! I’ve raced thousands of miles on four continents in endurance events from Sprints to Ironmans to multi-day EPICs through the Canadian Rockies and the French Alps. I worked my way from the very back of the pack to four-time USAT All-American, AWA Gold, 70.3 World Championship qualifier/finisher and Boston Marathon qualifier/finisher. The Mountain Man 70.4 is still my favorite local race, and for the last four years I have led an epic tri-camp right before the race. This year I was fortunate enough to win the overall Masters division. Escape from Alcatraz is also a favorite that I have completed 3 times, including a 5th AG/top 50 overall AG. I am a USAT Level I triathlon coach and have been helping a number of Tri Scottsdale and other athletes get the most out of their training for many years. When I’m not training or coaching, I spend time with my wife Claudia and my daughter Livi (aka “The Munchkin”). If you have any questions about triathlon or Tri Scottsdale, please don’t hesitate to ask me. Cue catchphrase: "Crush it!"

Dylan

I started running shortly after college baseball ended and I needed something to stay in shape as I love to eat (it’s no surprise!). We had some family friends stay in town for the rock n roll half marathon and one had to back out, so I tried it out. I finished 58th in the age group….of 65-69 year olds. I then moved over to triathlons to try something different and thought biking may be fun. At 190lbs I found the flats to be fun :). I instantly was hooked and then got unhooked as I started diving into the expenses LOL. Long story short, I’ve met some of the best friends, traveled to some pretty cool places, and tried some good ice cream with triathlon. I look forward to 2019!

Folkes

I have been competing in triathlon since 2002. I am an extremely competitive person by nature and grew up playing baseball and basketball which I did through my first years of college. I had never heard of triathlon. I started all 3 disciplines of triathlon from scratch after college because I needed a goal- oriented sport that would give me the opportunity to consistently improve based off my own work ethic. It took fighting through some frustrations and failures before I saw some significant improvement but after that I was hooked. Fast forward till today it has become an important part of m journey and life. It teaches me a lot about work ethic, resilience and the ability to push myself to levels I didn’t think possible. I have met so many like minded people along the way that have become some of my best friends. I feel the sport has given me a lot and for that reason I love to give back. I have been a consistent age group podium finisher most of my time in the sport and I’ll work hard to make sure that continues to happen, God willing. I have been competitive at all the distances and have done 7 Ironman races. Today, due to life commitments I focus more on the half distance. Outside of Triathlon I’m a Senior Vice President and Complex Manager for Moors & Cabot Investments, a 130-year-old Boutique Private Wealth Management Firm. Moors & Cabot is becoming a title sponsor for the club this year. My wife is name Meng but goes by Lulu and we are accompanied most places we go with our border collie Jackson. He is very special to us and my best running buddy.

Keas

About Me - I am a middle management corporate employee for a top bank that was athletic in a prior century and only recently got back into sports in the last 8 years with doing my first half marathon. I am also a Disney addict completing several runDisney events each year.

How did I find triathlon? I suspect I got into it the same as others - peer pressure! I had a great friend convince me that she would lend me her bike and I could do this entry level triathlon - Spa Girl. The only catch was I needed to get over a fear of water and learn how to swim after over 4 decades of avoiding the need to add this life skill. With a great team of friends and family support, I was able to survive the treacherous waters of the JW Marriott lazy river on that fateful day in 2014.

What do I like the best about triathlon? I really love the triathlon community! What a great bunch of supportive people that are into helping each other out. I love the camaraderie that training and competing brings out in people. I am a solid average to back of the packer and the support from the other athletes is fantastic. I have been privileged to participate in many great conversations on the race course as everyone did their best.

What races have I completed? I have completed multiple sprints and olympic including - Tri 4 the Cure, Cactus Man, Boulder Sunrise, IMAZ 70.3 (1 relay and 2x solo), IMAZ 2017 IM Boulder 70.3. I have done just about all the Disney races including Dopey 2x and in Paris (I am a Disney fan!).

What am I looking forward to in 2019 as a Tri Scottsdale Ambassador? I am looking forward to introducing new people to the sport of triathlon and letting all ability levels know that triathlon is for them.

Triathlon goals for 2019 - I will be focusing on short course racing this year while I continue to work on my swimming.

Miller

Arizona Born and raised! Playing in the Tri life for 10 years, Trail Running for 5 years and Mt. Biking for 30 years. Not been on a podium, but the people, the way of life and the vibe, far outweighs a podium for me. I love all the things hard to do! 2019 will bring many many firsts. First 70.3, second attempt. First Ultra Trail. First Mt. Bike race! First TriScottsdale Kit! Battle Ready!

Dylan

I am a single mom of two teenage boys and I work full time as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Room. When I’m not actively being a mom or working I love to spend time with my friends and family. Nearly all of my other spare time is spent training. I started participating in triathlons in 1998 when a coworker asked me to do the Danskin Triathlon in Seattle. Like most of us I immediately became hooked on the sport. It gave me motivation to work out and I liked the challenge of trying something new. I continued to race sprint tris for several years. In 2000 I moved from WA, where I grew up, to AZ. In 2002 I started a family and as I raised small children and continued to work I wandered away from the sport for a few years. I returned to triathlon in 2009. Since then I have slowly progressed from racing sprint triathlons, to Olympic distance, in 2012 I did my first 70.3, and I eventually completed my first full Ironman in 2014. I have now completed 7 Ironman races including Ironman Kona in 2017. I love the community of people in our sport and the family of training partners I am surrounded and encouraged by. Without my tribe I would not have accomplished the things I have in this sport over the past 5 years. These accomplishments include qualifying for the Half Ironman World Championship race in 2017 and 2019 and the Ironman World Championship race in 2017 and 2019. But it’s not all about winning. It’s about working hard, enjoying the training, and celebrating your own personal race. I like to race happy and smile as often as I can because I am thankful that my mind and body are strong and allow me to swim, bike, and run, and remain healthy! Triathlon may be viewed as an individual sport but it really isn’t. It truly takes a village. I joined TriScottsdale in 2016 and all I can say is our team is amazing. I’m excited and honored to represent such a great group of people as a TriScottsdale Ambassador in 2019!

Nilsen

I started running January 2010 - this was not a new year’s resolution… this was a NYE party foul! Once I started training, I immediately fell in love with the feeling of pushing myself beyond what I thought was possible. About 2 years later I got my first running injury, a bum foot. Good thing I had already met so many amazing athletes & friends on my running journey because I finally fell into the sport of triathlon. Without ever swimming more than what was required to pass my children’s swim school one summer I was caught in a lap pool with a good friend trying to figure out how to get to the other side with my face in the water! LOL! I was determined to do my first Sprint triathlon; so I signed up for adult swimming lessons. A few months later I toed the start line to my first triathlon! I won my AG by 1 second that day… I learned my first lesson in triathlon (and you could even say life lesson), every second counts. That year I completed my first 70.3 and my second… along with numerous other races. I had caught the tri bug and I caught it hard. Even after 5 years I still race at least once a month; something about racing gives me my purpose and passion. I love training, meeting new friends, and racing with a huge grateful heart and smile. Triathlon is definitely become a part of my life more than I would have ever dreamt. I have met the MOST AMAZING friends through this community and cannot imagine my life without it. Follow me on my journey - IG @MandiRuns

Winslow

I’ve been involved in triathlon since 2006 but my evolution into a triathlete started a few years before. In 2003 I found myself overweight and unhappy with the way I felt and looked. I decided that I was tired of buying larger clothes to keep up with my weight gain, so, in an attempt to get back in shape, I decided to attempt a local 5k, the Turkey Lurkey Trail Run in Indiana. Even though I had to walk most of it, I finished the event and I was hooked. My new goal became running an entire 5k without walking. Within months I had completed the goal and had moved up to longer distances. In the 2004-2005 time period, in addition to running, I began mountain biking and really fell in love with the sport. I began road biking as a way to stay in shape for mountain biking, but quickly realized that I loved road cycling as well. It was late in 2005 that one of my close friends convinced me to attempt a triathlon. This was a daunting task for a 40 year-old guy like me, because I didn’t know how to swim! But I was determined to learn. I still tell people today that it amazes how something like swimming can look so easy, but be so darn hard! The first several triathlons I did were sprints and I think I breast- stroked the entire swim. Even so, I quickly realized that triathlon was the sport for me and I began to attempt longer distances. In 2008 (several swim coaches later) I attempted my first 70.3 distance race: Steelhead 70.3 in Michigan. The two things I remember most about crossing the finish line that day was: first, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and second, I couldn’t imagine doing all of that stuff twice (a full Ironman). Nevertheless, within a few months, I began to get the itch to try a full distance Ironman. In August of 2009, I crossed the finish line at Ironman Louisville in Kentucky. The feeling of crossing that finish line was nothing short of euphoria and I was instantly hooked on the distance. In addition to various shorter distance triathlons, I’ve done at least one or two full-distance Ironman races per year since 2009. This past year I completed my 13th full Ironman in Santa Rosa, CA. Along the way, I’ve had races in which I’ve done incredibly well (for me) and I’ve had races in which I wasn’t even sure I would finish. But no matter what, the feeling of crossing that finish line is hard to beat. And I’ve found that the year-long journey to each finish line is (almost) as rewarding as the finish itself. I’m a different person now, with different goals and a completely different lifestyle than when I started this journey in 2003. And most importantly, I like who I’ve become. I moved to Scottsdale, AZ in May 2017 after having spent 15 years in Indiana. I found Tri Scottsdale in June of that year, when I met another Tri Scottsdale team member while out riding my bike in North Scottsdale. He put me in touch with Preston Miller and I officially joined the team. I had been a member of a tri club in Indiana for quite a few years before I moved to Scottsdale. But the experience with those teams was nothing like what I’ve had with Tri Scottsdale. From hard group rides and runs, to social gatherings over coffee, to screaming for friends at local triathlons, this team offers more than any tri group I’ve ever been involved with. I hope that every one of our members knows just how lucky we are to have a club like this!

McMahon

I love new and exciting challenges! I live each day to the fullest, and try to put as much as I can into a day. Everyday is a gift and we must live this wonderful life we are given. I am so very excited and honored to represent TriScottsdale as an ambassador this season. I am a 3 time Ironman finisher (2015 AZ IM, 2017 AZ IM, 2018 Boulder), with hopes to make it a 5 time Ironman Finisher in 2019. I am currently signed up for Ironman Cork in Ireland and Arizona Ironman and I am sure some smaller races along the way. I like to signup for races as a way to train...forces you to finish. I got into Triathlon from good neighbor and friend of mine, Steve Lengua. He was signed up for a SOMA race 70.3 in 2013, and I went the the expo with him to pickup his packet...Since I had been doing Half Marathons and some running races at the time...I decided to do a late signup and do the Tri (without training) 🙂 I borrowed my friends road bike for the race and although I finished it...it was very hard and difficult. I guess I got the excitement at being at the Expo and wanted to participate and race. 7:29 and I finished 93 out of 94 in my division...but not last 🙂 I then continued to do running races and added some short distance Triathlons. I love the sense of community, friendship and camaraderie that you get with this sport. I have so many great friends because of Triathlon. In my spare time, when I am not training...I spend time with my wife Jaime, and our kids. I have three children, Josh, Faith, and Nate. I actually have introduced my little ones (8 and 9) into Triathlon and they compete in the TriFamily series races. They have done quite well, and enjoy all three events. (Swim, Bike Run) Weekends are busy with all the kids activities and we love giving them new opportunities to grow. (Gymnastics, Swimming, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Running Club, Triathlon, Hiking, Music, Singing) So many amazing athletes! I am proud to be a part of this journey. I look forward to 2019 and beyond!

Cannon

I have always loved cycling. I started mountain biking in 1990 and have always loved being on a bike. I was always a recreational swimmer normally finishing last in the pack at the swim meets but, I love being in the water. After moving to Guaymas, Mexico in 1993 for school, meeting my husband and having four amazing kids (Siena, Andrea, Valentina and Gabriel), mountain biking and ocean swimming continued being passions of mine. I started organizing Sprint and Olympic Triathlon events in Guaymas from 2000-2005 creating a fun environment for young kids. I started road biking in 2005 to mix the biking up a little and was instantly hooked. We moved to Scottsdale in 2014 when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and I met a couple amazing people from TriScottsdale on a group ride the first week I was here. I met someone doing Soma 2014 and I thought that although I had never run more than 6 miles, I could get through it on a run/walk and do pretty well on the swim and bike. I finished and was bit by the bug and couldn't wait for the next race. I met Preston at Tri for the Cure in 2015 and was instantly inspired by him and all that he has created with TriScottsdale. I new that this was the place for me. The amazing support from the members and the great group activities is so motivating and inspires its members to continue learning and doing our best in this sport. I have completed 11 70.3's, two being World Championships in Australia and Chattanooga, several Sprint and Olympic races and two full IM's (IMAZ 2015 and Cozumel 2016). I unfortunately had to pull out of IMAZ 2017 due to vision impairment at mile 12 of the run and had a stress fracture in the hip in 2018. 2019 is a new year and looking forward to it being a year of great races with this amazing TriScottsdale team!!

tripp

I started endurance sports the year after graduating college. It started with a bucket list goal to do a marathon. I had no background in running. In fact, I failed to run the 6:30 minute mile required for the high school football team so I always had to do extra up-downs. So I did my first race in 2013, The Rock ‘n Roll San Diego Marathon, and fell in love with it. It gave me a productive hobby that made me feel accomplished and gave me goals to strive for. Then I set the next goals to do a triathlon and to ride 100 miles on a bicycle, both of which sounded crazy to me at the time. Fast forward a few years and now I can say I can’t remember the number of triathlons I have raced without looking at my binder of old race bibs or how many times I have ridden a bike more than 100 miles without looking at past GPS files, but the passion is still there. Each year I set new goals, and something always strikes that match that burns inside to get better, to run faster, to do another mile repeat, to shift to a harder gear. This year’s goals are to get back to Kona, run a sub 3 hour marathon on a flat course, and to swim an Ironman swim in under an hour. So I went all in on the Full Ironman, signing up for IM Boulder, IM Chattanooga, and IM Arizona. Oh … and when I’m not working out I’m a critical care nurse at a Osborn Medical Center in the Stroke/Trauma/Neuro ICU, and I pour wine part time for Arizona Stronghold Winery.

Leblanc "Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from OVERCOMING the things you once thought you couldn't." RIKKI ROGERS
Angie Anderson was a stay at home mom with her 2 young daughters for a number of years. She felt privileged to raise her girls full time, but also knew something was missing. She had this idea that completing a triathlon would fulfillthe hole she couldn’t quite define. Her husband borrowed a bike for her to use, and this first race changed the path of her life forever!
The race was a women’s only sprint triathlon in Leduc, Alberta. It was late in the year and Angie remembers going home to some antiquated version of the internet to try to find another race to do ASAP! She fell in love with this sport from the moment she arrived at the race and was disappointed there were no options left that year. As always happens, a door opened and she committed to do her second triathlon, and first half Ironman at Great White North in July, 2001.
To this date that first half Ironman was Angie’s most emotional finish line. The emotion at completing something she thought impossible was overwhelming. She remembers the call to her Dad, who passed away shortly after her first Ironman post race. “Dad… I did it”, said while sobbing happy tears! That moment created an opening for future possibilities, and her next stop was Ironman Canada to volunteer and sign up for 2002.
Since 2002 there has been 19 Ironman races completed and too many 70.3’s to count. Angie left her job as a high school teacher in 2006 to pursue coaching triathlon full time, and has maintained this career for 13 years so far.
In 2013 Angie moved from Alberta, Canada to Phoenix Arizona. Over the last 5 years she has established herself as a coach and athlete in the triathlon community. Angie volunteers several times a year for her sport helping newbie athletes get their feet wet in the sport she loves! The Mesa Sprint Triathlon is a favorite event, as is Tri for the Cure. She also volunteers at Ironman Arizona every year.
Education is important to Angie. She takes coaching courses whenever possibleand reads everything she can about her sport. Angie believes in the science of coaching, and is always learning, and is also very passionate about the art of coaching and building relationships not just with her athletes, but with her community.
Angie has had solid success as an age group triathlete. She started with no experience, skills or fitness in 1999 and has since learned what hard work can achieve. Her highlights include 4 age group wins, qualifying for the Ironman World Championships 7 times, and multiple 70.3 and Ironman Age Group placings. She loves to race sprints and is often a top finisher in local events.
Angie is consistently an Ironman All World Gold athlete finishing #1 in the USA for women 50-54 for 2018, and has been USAT All American since moving to theUS. Angie continues to learn through her own racing and training career and values the opportunity to share her knowledge with those around her.
Angie believes triathlon is a passion that enhances the lives of those of us lucky enough to embrace this sport. Through coaching, volunteering, racing, and as simple as it sounds, smiling and welcoming those new to our sport, Angie hopes to kindle a spark in those around her to be their best.

X